A Psych Halloween Story
Chapter One: I Walked Into Your Dream
For the past five nights, the very same dream— like clockwork, or a tease. By the third night, she found herself almost afraid to close her eyes; the first two nights must have been a fluke, right? The first night the most intense, a dream so vivid it continues to haunt even when the eyes open, even when one pushes back the covers, dresses, walks down the hall and crosses the threshold of home.
Unlike a nightmare's jarring reprieve— a moment so shocking to cause the dream to fold back for the mind to remember its attachment to its body, and to its accepted reality, this story was told in the grip, backwards, the first step always, always, that he leaned across her, leering like an incubus— not a bit like himself in daylight. When he leaned, the moonlight scurried across his eyes, which were not their charming shade of hazel-pale yellow-dark green but instead were enchanted, caught in a spell of red tangled with orange— immediately recognizable, even to the dreamer self, as unnatural. He would pin her to the pillow with just his eyes, his parched lips parting to reveal two even sets of white points— fanged like a bat or a snake.
He would never ask for her name or if she was as delighted as he that she was about to become his night's meal. Then he would lower and bite her, full on, on her neck. This never cut away, or was the shock which woke her, causing a shuddering from shoulders to toes. Instead, she would lie there as he punctured and drank, paralyzed against her sheets as nearly every drop of redness left her, fleshing out his lips, changing his eyes once again to hazel, bringing some kind of life to the pallor of his skin.
It was only his kiss that brought her to waking— a long, blood wet kiss on her lips, the kisses of fairy tale potential, that bring back life to dying embers, to victims of curses or of jealous lovers. It was in this that she did not want, in this dream, night after night, a reprieve.
Instead, she wanted to return it, a fierce kiss to her demon love, hard enough to sink her teeth into his lips, pull him to her with only her mouth— but he had already taken too much of her, all her strength, all her will. She could only allow his lips to feed one last time on her last drop of blood, transformed from a drop of life to the essence of her love— a whole eternity in just one drop.
* * * * *
Juliet woke after the fifth night exactly the same way as the others, gasping for air, as if, as if— she blushed furiously, though she was alone in her apartment, with no one to hide her feelings from. The kiss—
Juliet dragged her slender fingers through her long blond hair, fanning it out against her shoulders like a shield. Rolling her eyes, she gathered it in a messy ponytail before letting it drop with a sigh. It was just a dream. Five times, it was still just a dream.
* * * * *
The dream followed her like a shadow, like a ghost, even as she opened the station's doors and started the trek down the hallway to her desk. It wasn't until she was three quarters of the way there that she remembered what day it was— October 31st, Halloween.
Juliet had to pause, as if a fist of breath had caught her in the midsection, giving her the sensation she was going to be sick, that she was bent double. She wrapped her arms around her, feeling her strength drain from her drop by drop— he must be near.
Juliet jumped, straightening quickly with a look of mild fright on her features. Her partner, who'd unnecessarily bellowed, was standing a few steps in front of her, one long eyebrow raised curiously. There was annoyance in the corner of his mouth, betrayed only by a strangely sympathetic surprise in his eyes at her reaction. Her face appeared drained of its color; she must not have caught his surprise, but he didn't want to take that chance. "What are you just standing there for?" he accused as if she had done it on purpose. "It's Halloween— you know it's nonstop crap from teenage punks, snot-nosed prankster kids and loony and strung out criminals out for a score tonight."
He continued to drone on for another long minute, throughout which she attempted to shrug off the dream's wispy shroud. Juliet nodded in his silence, forcing her voice to leave her mouth. "Right, let's get to work."
Lassiter turned around, getting two steps before ordering her, over his shoulder, to get herself some coffee. He missed her nodding again, as if she recognized the friendliness he only offered to her, but she didn't. The dream had reached her here; it should be safe at home, tucked under her pillow, awaiting her return to slumber. But its tentacles had flowed out, slid under doors, slinked through the cracks in the sidewalks, murmured its whispers through Autumn leaves drying on their branches, tossed through neat piles on the ground, looked eyeless for her, knowing just where she was headed.
It hushed in here, welcomed when she opened the doors, encircling her waist when she paused. She had known it was following, but only that it had been following from the back of her mind; its "physical" presence she hadn't known of.
Juliet went through the motions of morning arrival, watching her hands perform tasks such as getting coffee into a cup, stacking files, finding her pens and contact numbers. After she locked her purse in her bottom desk drawer and stood up, she felt herself starting to feel better.
It— the dream— must have recoiled, knowing it couldn't stay here. Maybe it was as startled as she by Lassiter; whatever the reason, she was glad to see it go. It had no place here, and no business— it belonged only to her.
* * * * *
Vick refused herself to repeat the phrase, "Read my lips" again, chagrined the pair before her would burst out laughing while they pleaded their case. This year she had allowed some leniency when it came to costumes— though she had, in her updated policy, made clear that even when dressing up, one must remain professional.
She herself, as Chief, had taken the most leniency to heart, and had a donned a look of a Phil Collins groupie, circa 1982, making herself an easy target for the 80's obsessed Shawn Spencer. She'd frizzed up her short hair with mousse, adorned her wrists multiple jangly bangles, and dug a vintage Phil Collins "Against All Odds" t-shirt out of her closet, wearing it under her professional suit jacket, and made up her face with heavy eighties-esque eyeshadow, with pale baby pink lipstick dotting her mouth. A look she had been proud of when she'd glance in the mirror leaving her house, even earning a "thumbs up" from her husband. Karen had reapplied the lipstick several times already, twice since they had been in her space— they had a knack for making her grind it right off of her lips.
Karen had noticed that, nearly upon entry, Mr. Guster had been seemingly unable to take his eyes off her lips, even as she went for the quick reapplies. His costume, she was certain, was going to cause her night blindness, with its silky sheen of too bright too many 1970's colors. Karen found herself getting sick just glancing at it.
"But Chief, this is important," Shawn whined, changing his tune at a sharp glance from Vick. He coughed. "I mean, in all likelihood, it could be."
"For a case," Guster put in, nudging Shawn again.
"Right, for a case," Shawn repeated, his body beginning another cycle of spasms and twitches— another cause for her to throw up.
"For the last time, Mr. Spencer," Vick said, her voice raising from its usual evenness to convey her "NO" accurately, "I am not authorizing a commission so you can go to said Halloween parties where you may or may not discover nefarious goings-on!"
Shawn stopped rocking, a hurt look on his pale face. He was starting to gather another set of cleverly described reasons why his potential life saving mission should be allowed— none of which included insulting the Chief's costume in any way— nay, a flurry of compliments would be coming her way, Shawn "foresaw", which the office door opened.
"Chief," Lassiter began, looking passed the pair to address Vick. His eyes flickered over them briefly, unable to resist commenting on their costume choices, ending it with a sneer and a "You both look ridiculous!"
"Where's your costume?" Gus asked, taking in that Lassiter looked the same as he always did.
Lassiter looked offended. "You can't tell? I'm a Detective." He pointed to the badge on his belt for emphasis.
"You're a Detective everyday," Shawn said, waiting for a witty response.
"No, I'm Head Detective everyday," Lassiter snapped as explanation.
The pair stole a look and an exaggerated eye roll at one another.
Juliet entered the office still speaking to someone in the hall. She turned her head forward slowly, stopping dead when her eyes alighted upon—
"Hey, Jules!" Shawn greeted pleasantly. As he turned from Vick's desk upon catching her arrival from the corner of his eye, the black cape with its red lining pivoted with him, swirling before settling again against his arms and back. "I like your Head Detective costume, Jules," he continued, ignoring the sharp glare Lassiter sent his way. His voice was slightly muffled due to the plastic fangs he'd insisted on keeping over his teeth. There was a long line of blood at the corner of his mouth, and he wore black pants and a white shirt, which was stained with something unmistakably red on its left breast, just where his heart should be.
Frozen, Juliet waited breathlessly as he floated towards her, his feet not even dragging on the ground. She thought, Such big teeth, a sentiment he answered aloud with, "All the better to eat you with, my dear," before leaning in close, as if to kiss her.
Shawn, she thought, then again, louder in her mind, Shawn, stop! Stop!! Don't do this! Not now, not here! Her piercing scream the only soundtrack to this silent film as moved to her, as a white fog rolled in at their feet. His teeth brushed her lips, biting at their plump softness, drawing a scratch of blood. Then he went in for the kill, chomping down on her neck like a vicious dog or a tiger ripping into a raw cut of meat. Juliet screamed again.
Blood, lifeblood, hers and hers alone, oozed from her wounds, dribbled down her neck, stained her clothes.
Never before the fainting type, she swooned.